Alcester return with a stylish five-try win
ALCESTER started 2024 with an emphatic 35-5 win over Leamington – showcasing their strongest and most cohesive league performance in recent seasons, reports Amy Flynn.
The home side started strongly and did not look like a team that had just returned from a Christmas break.
Ten minutes in, Josh O’Connor made a strong tackle that forced a penalty as the opposition held on. Ed Gough confidently put Alcester ahead with a kick at the posts.
With great continuity, Alcester drew in the defence as Dwayne Cruickshank offloaded to Jamie Clarke to score on the wing, Gough added the extras with a great touchline conversion.
Approaching the half-hour mark, Leamington found their break as their fly-half darted through to score, despite an appeal by Alcester players and supporters for a forward pass in the lead up to the try.
Despite Leamington edging on top, a powerful run up the touchline by O’Connor stopped three defenders in their tracks, handing them off to score out wide. The conversion fell just short but Alcester took a 15-5 lead into halftime.
Early in the second half, Alcester extended their lead with another penalty before, shortly afterwards, having a try disallowed for a double movement.
Alcester were comfortably on top, a different tale to the reverse fixture earlier in the season, which was a closely fought affair that saw Leamington come away 36-29 winners on the day.
With great continuity again, Gough scored Alcester's third before converting his own try.
Spurred on by a large crowd braving the dropping January temperatures, Kyran Flynn picked up from the back of a ruck and crashed over for his side’s bonus point score and to seal the deal, Jack Green showed an infamous display of power to cross the line for the final score of the game.
The win sees Alcester move up a place to sixth in Counties One Midlands West (South) ahead of a trip to Old Coventrians on Saturday when they will hope to continue their strong start to the year.